Poker Coverage: Poker Tournaments Casino News Sports Betting Poker Strategy


Flop Play

by Roy Winston |  Published: Apr 12, '08


I have received quite a few emails about flop play and and betting strategy, so I thought I would spend a little time on that today. Realizing that most hands we play, including AK, puts us on a draw, and that most times we miss the flop, how does one decide whether or not to continue and bet the flop, and if so how much? When you are the pre flop raiser you are usually looked at as expected to bet the flop. Say you raised 3BB from middle position, the button and BB called. In all likelihood the BB will check and it's your option to check or bet. Does if and how you hit the flop determine your bet? Not always, because you are playing the other players, not just your own hand. Let's say you have a reasonably good read on the button and he seems to have lost interest after the flop, and the BB you know would have bet, had he hit the flop. This is the time for a bet of 50-80% of the pot. This is even better when you've actually hit the flop. I find that unless I am strong and am playing an aggressive player who will keep firing at the pot, I want to bet the flop when based on the information I get from my opponents I can win it right there. If I get a caller it is obviously better to have a little something, even a good draw. Which brings me to playing draws on the flop. This time you have K 10 suited in the cutoff and you open with a 2.5BB bet and get called by the BB. The flop comes Q 9 2 with 4 of your suit. So you have a gutter ball for a straight and 9 outs for the second nut flush, for a total of 12 good outs and maybe a king wins the pot as well. So when the BB checks, firing a bet in the neighborhood of 60% of the pot would be my preferred play if I thought the BB didn't flop big. On average you will take this pot down 50% of the time right here, and if called by top pair, two pair, or even a set, you have at least 12 outs twice, for almost 50%. So your bet brings your win the pot total to almost 75%. Now if your opponent flopped a set, they may push at you hard, and folding might be your only option based on stack size and your read of the situation. If all they have is say A Q, then you have over half the deck because your king is live, for 15 outs twice. Why do I pick a 60% pot-sized bet? I want to bet enough to give him pause about calling. However, in an ideal world your opponent flopped 2nd pair and wants to float to the turn, or thinks he is good right here. If I hit my draw then the pot will be bigger and he may pay me off, particularly if the straight comes. Players sometimes like free cards to make their straight or flush before putting chips in the pot, however your payoff will be less, and when you miss and bet the river it's usually a pretty transparent bluff which is easy to pick off. That's why I like to bet my draws to build the pot if I hit, and maybe take it down right there.

The Oracle

For more information on Roy Winston you can visit his website: or send him an email:

Roy Winston finished 16th in 2007 Card Player, Player of the Year race. He won the WPT Borgata Poker Open and finished the year with well over $2 million in tournament poker winnings. Roy plays online exclusively at Full Tilt. For more information on Roy Winston, you can visit his website: or send an email to: with your questions or comments. The contents presented herein on this blog are purely the opinions of Roy Winston, and are not intended to reflect or promote the opinions of any other person, group, or entity. If you like what I write than thanks for reading, and if not well, thanks anyway.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
Newsletterbanner Twitterbanner Fbbanner

Most Viewed Blogs